Sun, 16 Jun 2019

A composed innings from Cameron White and a solid all-round performance from captain Peter Handscomb has helped Victoria claim the JLT Cup title after beating Tasmania by 110 runs at the Junction Oval in Melbourne.

White made 88 from 96 balls at the top of the order and got good support from Handscomb, Marcus Harris and Travis Dean as the home side posted 274 after winning the toss and batting first.

Victoria's spinners did the early damage in the chase as Tasmania never got close.

White and Harris put together a solid 88-run opening stand in the best of the batting conditions in the morning. White mixed power and stroke-play with his trademark control. He struck four fours and four sixes before falling Gurinder Sandhu.

Handscomb took over and raced to 49 from 45 balls before falling in the 48th over. Matthew Short provided a great cameo with 37 from 34 balls.

Sandhu bowled a superb last over to concede just one run. He already had three wickets and took four more in the over including a hat-trick off the last three balls of the innings to finish with 7 for 56 from his 10 overs.

The wind really picked up in afternoon making power hitting more difficult for the Tasmania batsmen. Victoria was able to bowl its spinners down-wind to protect the boundaries. Matthew Wade fell to Glenn Maxwell in the Powerplay. Fawad Ahmed forced a mistake from Ben McDermott while Jordan Silk nicked the part-time left-arm spin of Nic Maddison to Handscomb to leave the Tigers 3 for 72 in the 18th over.

When Andrew Fekete removed semi-final heroes George Bailey and Simon Milenko the game was all but over. Handscomb finished with four catches behind the stumps and was named Player of the Match.

It was a remarkable tournament for Victoria, who finished fourth after the five round-robin games having won only two of them. Under the old Australian domestic one-day system, Victoria would have missed the finals all together.

But with all six sides making the finals under the brand new system devised this year, Victoria progressed past New South Wales in the first qualifying final after a wash-out, due to a slightly superior net run rate.

Victoria then hosted the top-ranked and undefeated Western Australia in the semi-final and beat them handsomely before hosting the final against Tasmania, who had finished second on the table behind WA.

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